Shortness of breath – difficulty in breathing, accompanied by discomfort in the sternum. With intense physical exertion, the phenomenon is considered normal. If the pathology occurs at rest or with measured movements, this indicates various diseases. Shortness of breath in asthma can lead to the development of adverse effects and complications in an adult or child.
What can be shortness of breath with asthma
Types of asthma dyspnea:
- Expiratory – short inhalation, difficult exhalation. The pathogenesis of the occurrence lies in the narrowing of the lumen of the bronchioles, spasm of smooth muscles.
- Inspiratory – problems with normal breathing of air. It occurs due to narrowing of the lumen of large bronchi, trachea.
Expiratory dyspnea in bronchial asthma can be found more often than inspiratory dyspnea. The latter type usually occurs with heart disorders, pleurisy, alveolitis , problems with the diaphragm. Shortness of breath is also of a mixed type.
Shortness of breath in asthma is characterized by the following symptoms:
- The pathological condition develops in the form of seizures. When taking bronchomimetics (medicines that help relax the walls of the bronchi), the difficulty in breathing goes away .
- With prolonged shortness of breath, the diaphragm is strained. Because of this, pain occurs in the lower sternum.
- With an attack, a cough, a feeling of congestion appears. At the end of the suffocation, glassy, viscous sputum comes out in small volumes.
- Shortness of breath usually occurs upon contact with allergens (animal hair, flowers, etc.).
- Shortness of breath is often accompanied by a rash on the epidermis.
If these symptoms occur, you should consult a doctor. The pathological condition can acquire asthmatic status. It proceeds like a normal attack, but it does not go away even with medication. The patient may fall into a coma or die.
Shortness of breath occurs with other diseases. To determine that the pathological condition is provoked precisely by bronchial asthma, the doctor asks a number of questions:
- whether there is a cough at night;
- whether whistling rales are heard;
- whether the condition worsens upon contact with allergens;
- whether the malaise increases with physical exertion;
- whether the pathological condition passes after taking anti-asthma medications.
If even one question is answered yes, there is reason to suspect that the patient has bronchial asthma. The doctor prescribes a more accurate diagnosis:
- collection of anamnesis;
- taking allergic samples, determination of IgE ;
- examination of sputum under a microscope;
- identification of changes in the functions of external respiration;
- clinical examination;
- radiography and computed tomography;
- tests with bronchodilators ;
- taking skin samples to determine the allergen.
Only after the diagnostic measures have been taken, the doctor diagnoses bronchial asthma and prescribes effective treatment.
Complex therapy includes:
- Inhalation: expands the lumens of the bronchi in a short time, relieves spasm, normalizes the respiratory process. The procedure can reduce the number of seizures.
- A therapy aimed at reducing the susceptibility of the bronchi to external stimuli.
- Taking combined medicines, glucocorticoids in tandem with antagonists.
- Opioid use to suppress severe seizures. With hypoxia, oxygen treatment is prescribed.
- Additionally, they do breathing exercises, take long walks, and follow a diet.
Any medications are used only after consulting a doctor. Only he is able to choose a medicine with a suitable mechanism of action. Uncontrolled intake of drugs leads to adverse effects, aggravates the patient’s condition.
Why is it important to see a doctor
You can not self-medicate with bronchial asthma. This can lead to serious complications and irreversible consequences, including death. If shortness of breath appears, you need to make an appointment with a pulmonologist. He will conduct examinations and refer, if necessary, to doctors of related specialties:
You cannot completely get rid of bronchial asthma, but attacks can be controlled. It is very important not to start a pathological condition and regularly visit a pulmonologist.
For the treatment of inspiratory dyspnea in asthma, the following folk recipe can be used as an auxiliary method:
- mix thyme, blackberry, motherwort, woodruff, dried mongrel (in a ratio of 2: 5: 4: 4: 3);
- pour the collection with boiling water;
- insist 40 minutes;
- take during the day instead of tea.
To treat expiratory dyspnea in asthma, you can use this folk method:
- pour four tablespoons of cranberry leaves with 0.7 liters of boiling water;
- leave for three hours;
- strain, add a teaspoon of honey;
- drink during the day.
Any non-traditional method of treatment is agreed with a specialist. This will help avoid unwanted consequences. For example, allergic skin manifestations.
In atopic bronchial asthma of the first or second stage, if the allergen is identified and contact with it is terminated, a stable remission occurs. The patient becomes disabled only in the exacerbation stage. Lethal outcomes are rare. The ability to work is completely lost with the protracted nature of the pathological condition, if chronic bronchitis and other complications join asthma.
Infectious-allergic asthma is more complicated. Remission stages are rare. With a severe nature of the disease and the addition of complications, the prognosis is poor. The patient is assigned a disability group, already two to three years after the onset of the disease. With status asthmaticus, everything can end in death.
Primary preventive measures:
- favorable ecological situation;
- frequent cleaning of premises, a minimum number of objects that accumulate dust;
- compliance with personal hygiene requirements;
- lack of pets (if they do exist, then the keeping of animals must be clean);
- the use of hypoallergenic household items;
- balanced diet;
- minimal use of air fresheners, perfumes and other aromatic products;
- giving up cigarettes;
- taking medications only after a doctor’s appointment;
- elimination of allergic manifestations in the shortest possible time, determination of the irritant;
- timely therapy of respiratory diseases;
- Healthy lifestyle (sports, hardening, race walking);
- health resort vacation at the sea or in the highlands.
Secondary prevention measures:
- timely treatment of pathological conditions of the lungs, bronchi;
- complete rejection of tobacco products, alcohol;
- daily wet cleaning;
- prevention of contact with animals, even with aquarium fish (there are allergens in their food);
- exercise of caution during flowering plants;
- avoiding insect bites;
- exclusion of allergenic products from the menu;
- therapeutic massage procedures;
- breathing exercises, inhalation;
- acupuncture, herbal prophylaxis, salt caves;
- sanatorium rest.
Primary and secondary prevention measures are closely intertwined and reduce the likelihood of asthma, and therefore shortness of breath.
Danger of shortness of breath
Shortness of breath does not pose a threat to health or life, as it is only a manifestation of the disease. The symptom is easy to eliminate with medication. It is necessary to sound the alarm when shortness of breath increases and causes attacks of suffocation against the background of the therapeutic measures being performed. This indicates that the pathological condition turns into asthmatic status, which is life threatening.